Priscilla wrote: "This quote rings true. I didn't used to think about cheap purchases, clothing or otherwise, and now I always do. As an example, I recently saved up for a vacuum cleaner, found a bunch of poor reviews (and questionable factory work conditions) on the cheaper vacuums, and decided I need to save up four times the amount so I'm not buying a cheap appliance that will end up in the land fill."
Priscilla your words make me want to cheer, but also to sigh...because it can be so hard to choose "to save up four times the amount" to buy the better vacuum!
Your experience reminds me of seeing beach chairs on sale at Target last week...I've been wanting one to replace the uncomfortable folding chair I currently have...but getting one would surely mean buying two more for the girls...and then, well, I might as well get another one for Mr. Tribe...oh, and there are chaise lounge chairs on sale too...and we've been wanting some for our backyard...one would be lonely...so we'd need two. Suddenly, I have six chairs in my cart...I'm feeling sickly instead of excited...and yes, it's just silly.
At home I started researching beach chairs (this is made even sillier by the fact that we just returned from a road trip to the beach...without beach chairs). The cheap ones would surely break quickly, because there are plastic parts at the joints. There will be no repairing them, + they will end up in the landfill. But the more sturdy + ethically made ones cost five times more than the cheap ones.
Here is my discovery: As soon as I saw the price tag on the cheap chairs, that became the value of a beach chair in my mind.
Isn't that what has happened with fast fashion + so many other products out there? Once a t-shirt costs $1.90...it starts to sound ridiculous to pay even $25 for one. Once I can have 35 t-shirts, it starts to sound silly to believe that 3 might be enough.
But $1.90 is not the value of a t-shirt + $9 is not the value of a beach chair. Value comes from the resources it takes to construct an item (including + especially labor at all the various stages of resource extraction, growth, cultivation, transportation, + manufacture)...value involves avoidance of waste, repair + replacement costs...value comes from our willingness to hold on to + use that item for a long time.
Value. Cost. Awareness. Choice.
P.S. I don't have any beach chairs...yet. (or lounge chairs either) :)